Located just south of Denver, Colorado Springs is a perfect place for a 3-day weekend getaway. This beautiful area offers adventures, sunny skies, and crisp mountain air all year round. The road trip from Denver to Colorado Springs was so scenic and enjoyable, especially after our flight. Logan and I visited Colorado Springs in January for a 3-day weekend adventure in celebration of our anniversary! This itinerary is so fun, I filled it with all the best spots in the area for you.
Here are some of the highlights and must-see spots we found during our Perfect Weekend in Colorado Springs
Best Time to Visit Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs experiences all 4 seasons, with lots of sunshine, low humidity, and brilliant blue skies. Throughout the year, temperatures will vary from 20°F to 84°F and is rarely below 4°F or above 92°F.
Spring in Colorado Springs
The Spring season begins at the end of March. However, winter often lasts through April due to the climate. The end of April – May is the perfect time of year to see all of Colorado come to life. You’ll find fields of wildflowers, animals coming out from hibernation, birds chirping, and more.
Summer in Colorado Springs
Summers are warm and inviting with comfortable temperatures. The summer season is 3.3 months long from June to September with an average temperature of 76°F – 84°F the hottest day typically falls on the first week of July. Making summer the best time to visit for white water rafting, hot air balloon rides, and hiking.
Fall in Colorado Springs
The fall season in Colorado Springs is typically between September and early October above 8,500 feet in elevation in the mountains and late September to early November below 8,500 feet. The brilliant colors of red, yellow, & orange pop up all across the state, and make for beautiful photos. It’s also a great time to go hiking.
Winter in Colorado Springs
Winter in Colorado Springs can be very cold and dry. Typically partly cloudy for most of the season. The snowy period of winter lasts for a whopping 6.5 months, from October 16 to May 1. If you are visiting Colorado Springs during the winter, the most snow falls during the 31 days centered around March 29, making this a great time to hit the ski slopes in the mountains.
How to Get to Colorado Springs
Fly into Denver (DEN) International Airport & drive a rental car 1.5 hours south to Colorado Springs. You can also fly into the Colorado Springs Airport (COS), putting you right in the city. If you choose to do this you can either rent a car or take public transportation.
Rent a Car
From Denver Airport drive 1.5 hours south down highway 25 towards Colorado Springs. During our weekend in Colorado Springs, we rented a car to have the freedom and flexibility to move at our own pace.
Where to Stay in Colorado Springs
Downtown Colorado Springs: Downtown is buzzing with boutiques, parks, eateries, and a lively nightlife scene. Drink at the local breweries, and wine bars, then dance the night away at a club or concert! The area is a designated creative district. Walk around the city and you’ll find sculptures dotting its streets.
West Colorado Springs: This residential area is quiet and laid back. You’ll be close to nature to enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and rock climbing. West Colorado Springs is also home to both the Garden of the Gods and the Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
Manitou Springs: A great resort area to stay for the perfect weekend in Colorado Springs. Just outside of the city limits, the town is known for its incredible panoramic views of Pikes Peak. You’ll find The Manitou Cliff Dwellings, a group of reassembled ancient cliff structures and the entrance to Pike Peaks Highway here. Hike up a steep slope on the Manitou Incline Trail or shop on Manitou Avenue, home to art galleries and specialty boutiques. If you’re over 21+ and enjoy cannabis, you may consider staying at INNhale Cannabis B&B.
Camping: Spend some quality time in the great outdoors at one of the many Colorado Springs campgrounds. You’ll find rustic walk-on sites, fully equipped RV sites, and even cabins.
There are four main ways to explore pikes Peak and reach the summit:
Drive Your Car
Experience the beauty of the mountain as you ascend up the scenic Pikes Peak Highway. There is a $15 per person entry fee to access the road that winds its way up the mountain. More information from visitcoloradosprings.com
- Location: The Pikes Peak Highway Gateway is located in Cascade, Colorado, just west of Colorado Springs. To get there go west on Highway US-24 and turn left onto Fountain Ave. You will see signs for the Pikes Peak Highway.
- Time: The round-trip journey takes about 2-3 hours, not including stops for photos, time spent at the summit, and other activities.
- Fuel: There are no gas stations along the highway. Be sure that you have at least 1/2 tank of gas before you start your scenic drive.
- Elevation gain: The highway’s entrance begins at 7,400 feet and climbs all the way up to 14,115 feet to the summit of the mountain.
Private & Group Tours
If you’re short on time and want to make the most out of your weekend you can find private and group tours that will take you to the summit of Pikes Peak as well.
For The Really Adventurous
For the really adventurous visitors, try biking or hiking to the peak. There are tour companies that will drive you to the top and provide a guided bike tour down the mountain.
Go hiking on one of the many trails in the Pikes Peak area. If you plan on hiking your way to the top – Barr Trail is the most popular route to reach the summit. No matter which method you choose you will not be disappointed with Pikes Peak – “America’s Mountain” is stunning.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space
This open space park is a 1,474-acre city park of exposed layers of sedimentary rock that have been turned upward at the base of Pikes Peak. Deep canyons filled with gorgeous colored stones in gold, salmon, and other colors. The space was privately owned until 2003 when it was bought by the City of Colorado Springs. The land was divided into five separate tracts, and each track has specific restrictions as to how it can be utilized.
Red Rock Canyon is located along Highway 24.
3550 W High St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
This striking park is DRONE and DOG FRIENDLY!! Other activities in the park include a campground, hiking trails, horse trails, a bike park, mountain bike trails, a large fenced-in dog park, and more!
Hiking Trails in Red Rock
- Contemplative Trail
- Sand Canyon Trail
- Mesa/Greenlee Trail loop
- Roundup Trail
- Upper and Lower dog loops (off-leash dog areas)
- Quarry Trail
- Hogback Trail/Lion Loop
Download: Red Rock Canyon Open Space trail map
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
Paint Mines Interpretive Park is Colorado’s BEST KEPT SECRET. Just under an hour’s drive east of Colorado Springs will take you to Colorado’s most unique open space. The Paint Mines are given their name for their beautiful, bright colorful clays. The clay was once collected by American Indians to make paint in various colors.
The bright rainbow-colored bands get their colors from oxidized iron compounds. The Paint Mines Interpretive Park contains evidence of human life from as far back as 9,000 years ago! The park’s geological formations are spires and hoodoos, formed through various erosive actions. Creating gullies and layers of colored clay you see along the hike.
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Landmark of 1,300 acres of stunning red sandstone formations. The park is free to enter, making this a budget friendly activity! Make sure to bring your camera, you’re going to want pictures for this stunner of a park.
You won’t want to miss this gem during your perfect weekend adventure in Colorado Springs. There are 15 miles of hiking trails spread throughout the Garden of the Gods Park. The park is family friendly with difficulty levels that vary from easy, paved paths to scrambling. There are trails for all everybody. Stop at the Visitor Center and pick up a free trail map. While you’re there you can ask a volunteer what trails they suggest for your skill level.
Length: ½ mile – 4 miles depending on trail
Duration: 20 minutes – 4 hours depending on trail
Trail Difficulty: easy to moderate depending on trail
Scenery: gorgeous views of the unique rock formations found in Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain
Recommended for: Hikers, Dogs, Horses, Mountain Biking
The park is open year round
May 1 – Oct 31 5am – 11pm
Nov 1 – Apr 30 5am – 9pm
More Things to do in Colorado Springs
If you’re looking around other south-central Colorado areas, these additional experiences will add even more adventures to your perfect vacation.
Be sure to check out the Seven Falls and Cave of the Winds Park if you have time!
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Explore the rainbow colored rocks & formations at Painted Mines park, a short drive away from Colorado Springs!